Review: Katie Stelmanis, the spectrally-voiced and ferociously-talented figure behind maverick electro-pop outfit Austra, set herself the not inconsiderable target of setting out 'a commitment to replace the approaching dystopia' with this third album, yet against all odds she's done a sterling job of marrying the icy binary chill of technology with a very human frailty to emerge with a defiant and emotionally affecting statement of intent. Indelible melody and Stelmanis' extraordinary tones may dominate, yet the sonic landscapes here - equally bracing and beatific - have the rare effect of making the listener hopeful for what 2017 has in store.
Review: Jillian Rose Banks' debut 'Goddess' wasted little time in rendering her a name to be reckoned with in contemporary R&B on its release in 2014, its emotionally engaging cadences being as slick as they were seductive. 'The Altar' however marks her stepping up a gear whilst maintaining her inimitable style, the sophisticated sheen of her sound juxtaposed against a rawness of delivery and frankness of subject matter. Past relationships bad and good are eviscerated, not to mention Banks herself, her honeyed tones dealing frankly with matters of the heart and the psyche with trademark scalpel-sharp intensity even whilst lost in a distinctly sultry sound-world.
Louis Armstrong - "Oh When The Saints Go Marchin' In" (Wolfgang Lohr remix)
Billy Bros Orchestra - "Gimme Da Beat" (feat Norma Miller - Bart&Baker remix)
Pisk - "One Steady Roll"
DJ Mibor - "Everybody Loves My Baby" (Swahn remix)
Antoine Villoutreix - "Berlin" (Bart&Baker remix)
Extra Medium - "Get Down" (feat China Bowls & Cab Canaveral)
Scratchophone Orchestra - "Trump"
Jive Me - "Desert"
The Mills Brothers - "The Old Man Of The Mountain" (Dj Rouni & Kross remix)
Vassili Gemini - "Bambino" (feat Gilda - Bart&Beaker remix)
Max The Sax & Peter Cruseder - "New Day"
Max W - "The Minor Drag" (feat Fats Waller)
Groovy Joy - "Music! Music! Music!" (feat Teresa Brewer)
Bart&Baker - "We Are What We Are" (feat Billy Bros Orchestra)
Review: We can think of few better to mix up a selection of "the best new electro swing" than Bart and Baker, the top hat-sporting French duo who rank amongst the sound's most popular DJs. Joining the dots between horn-totin', funk-fuelled club workouts, acid-flecked contemporary takes on big band swing, hip-hop tempo wigglers, bouncy electro-house (see Caravan Palace's sizeable cover of "Black Betty") and confirmed dancefloor smashers, the veteran DJ twosome does a terrific job in keeping the party going throughout. Expect a string of their own tracks and remixes, dramatic changes in pace and more hot-stepping horn lines than you'd think it was possible to cram into 80 minutes of jaunty and cheery music.